Prepare for your Recording

Once you have decided to book a Recording with us, it’s time to decide what to Record and how to prepare your choir for the big day

recording session

Choosing the Music

The starting point for any recording is usually the music.   The choice of songs is entirely up to you and there are no restrictions in terms of accompaniment or style.   We record all sorts of choirs in all types of venues.    No matter whether you are a Community choir who sings to backing tracks, an A Capella University Choir or a Choral society who sing with a piano or Full Orchestra, we can professionally capture the sound of your choir at its best.

The most important thing is to choose music which you feel represent your choir at its best.   Some albums will have a theme – for example Christmas or religious ones.   Other choirs simply want to present a ‘best of’ album.  Maybe you are celebrating an anniversary and want to record your favourite songs from the past five years.

Prepare a list of songs

Once you have decided what to record, it’s really helpful if you can give us a list of the songs which are being recorded along with names of any soloists or instrumentalists.  This not only helps us to mark up the recording on the day but also makes it easier when it comes to creating your CD artwork.

Rehearse your Choir

It will of course be obvious to all choirs and choir leaders that they need to rehearse in advance of a recording session.   In many ways a lot of choir leaders tell us that the recording session feels like a pre concert rehearsal.  There will always be things needing to be topped and tailed before we go for a take.  Nevertheless if it is repertoire your choir knows well, that will make the recording session a lot easier.

Recordings are hard work even if your choir is as well prepared as possible.   So many things can happen on the day, some of which may not be in your control.  For example the best take could easily be rendered only partly usable if someone coughs or there is a noise from outside.  The moral is usually to record something simple well, rather than try to be too ambitious.  A recording picks up every little detail so anything slightly out or not quite right will often sound amplified once you listen back – particularly to an MD who knows where the mistake is!

Planning the Recording day – Timings

There is no one set of times which works for every choir.  It also depends how long the songs or pieces are which you are recording.  Some choirs prefer to run each song 2 or 3 times and then pick the best.  Others prefer to go through the song bit by bit and then put together the best takes.  The later is the more time consuming way of doing things and can often end up being more expensive in post production.  Nevertheless for some choirs this will be the best route – particularly where they are recording long pieces.

Sometimes it might be that your choir sings a song perfectly and that’s a wrap with a single take!  But just in case, we might often record the song a couple more times and then select the best one.  The singing is of course always perfect, but sometimes there are other things such as a cough or even a noise from outside which means it will be worth doing it again. Our engineers will advise you of any unwanted noise during the takes and you can always listen back afterwards to verify you are happy.

Any Questions?

A lot of choirs we work with haven’t recorded a CD before and if there’s anything you aren’t sure about please do ask.   We have an FAQs section on our website which tries to address the most common questions but there may well be something we haven’t yet thought of.  You can get in touch either by phone or email and the details are below.  Above all we really hope you enjoy recording a CD with Recordings 4 Choirs and we look forward to working with you.

To find out more please give us a call on 01225 302143 or click here to email us